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Building with Nature Guideline > Toolbox > Systems Analysis > System Analysis

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System Analysis

Type: Method

Project Phase: Initiation, Planning and Design

Purpose: Understanding systems functioning by analysing the interactions between/ within its natural and socio-economic subsystems

Requirement: Multidisciplinary team

Relevant Software: none


The natural system is the starting-point of any Building with Nature project. In order to develop solutions, the general scope and structure of the system need to be defined. To understand the physical, functional and regulatory aspects that are involved, a consistent systems approach is required.The Systems Analysis tool provides guidance to be able to apply this approach within the Building with Nature context, providing the theoretical background behind system analysis. For a more applied description of a system the Ecomindmap or the stakeholder analysis tool can be used. By definition any system analysis deals with elements and relationships between those elements. The action of the whole can only be understood by knowledge of the interactions of all the parts. The work of systems analysis is to select a system or subsystem to be analysed, define its boundary, identify the components and to develop models that describe the interaction of these components. It starts by insisting on a clear understanding of exactly what the problem is and the goal that should dominate the solution and lead to the criteria for evaluating alternative avenues.

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How to Use

Setting up a well-defined analysis of the system relevant for the project at hand requires input from a variety of expertise’s. Collaboration between different disciplines should provide with a coherent approach addressing all the key components of a project (natural, social and regulatory). Users of this tool need no special knowledge except their own specific field of expertise.

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Practical Applications

  1. Building with Nature Environment Pages
  2. Integrated Coastal Management

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